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Powys Metal Mines Survey


Bryntail lies in the community of Llanidloes Without in the county of Powys. It is located at Ordnance Survey national grid reference SN91338685 . The mine is recorded in the CPAT Historic Environment Record as number 1842 and this number should be quoted in all correspondence.

Lead/Barytes (18th century/1845-1869)

A NE-SW striking lode in Ordovician Van formation grits and mudstones with galena, witherite and barytes mineralisation.

There are 3 main shafts including Murray's shaft at SN92008710, Gundry's shaft at SN91818700 and the Western shaft at SN91338690. There is also a deep adit at SN91328690. The older workings include two filled in shafts at SN91558690 and another possible filled in level at SN91668699 to the east.

There are well preserved traces of earthwork incline tramway track beds between Gundry's shaft and the eastern dressing floors. There are similar remains between Murray's shaft and the top of the incline. There is a leat connecting the eastern dressing floors with the western dressing floors. It contours the hillside in Gelli Wood and supplied water to the crushers at the upper mill.

A pumping/winding engine house was erected at Murray's shaft in 1877. The building has been almost totally destroyed through backfilling of the shaft and use of the area for storing farm produce. There is a large scheduled building immediately east of Gundry's shaft at SN91818700 which housed pumping and winding machinery powered by a line of flat rods from the 60ft diameter waterwheel on the lower dressing floors. Substantial remains can be seen of this two-storey structure which has brick arches above doors and culverts with brick surrounds for the windows. There are two long linear pit-like features on the ground floor while the largest room on the eastern side of the building contains a filled pit in the floor and a chimney built into the wall on the north side. There was presumably also an engine mounted in this building for driving the machinery when water was affected by drought. The western dressing floor and barytes mill were driven by water supplied in the leat mentioned above which runs through Gelli wood from a stream to the east. There was also a leat drawing water from the Clywedog to this site from the north. There are two wheelpits on the upper dressing floors for crushing, winding and pumping one of these housed a 25x5ft wheel.

The barytes mill is well preserved at SN91338680 due to protection from scheduling and limited reconstruction of the buildings. There are two crushers, ore bins, roasting ovens and precipitation tanks. The eastern dressing floors at SN91758665 consist of a terraced dressing mill. There are two ore bins, jigger placements, a washing and picking floor area, and three round buddles. A linear run of seven slime pits descend the slope down to the river below the mill. The 60ft diam. wheelpit drove the pumping rods to Gundry's shaft. Of the latter only one side wall is intact the other having collapsed. There are a number of mounting bolts in-situ. There are a number of other rooms below and adjacent to the ore bins whose purpose is not clear.

Other features
There are mine office, smithy and store buildings on the western dressing floors. There is a circular, roofless magazine at SN91668700. It would seem probable that some of the buildings at Bryntail Farmhouse were formerly used for mine offices, storehouses although precise evidence is lacking.

This HTML page is reproduced from the Powys and Clwyd Metal Mine Surveys which were undertaken between May 1992 and December 1993 by Mark Walters and Pat Frost of the Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust with financial support from Powys County Council, Clwyd County Council and Cadw: Welsh Historic Monuments. Further information about this site is available in CPAT's Regional Historic Environment Record.
Page produced by Rachel Stebbings and Chris Martin.